Ok, there was a discussion at a feminist group and someone mentioned how some of us were too anti-men and even quoted some of my comments as examples of anti-men speech. Within minutes, I participated in another thread at a feminist page where again, the idea that feminism was about both men and women, and that men had to be protected from the misandrists who want to turn the tables and simply take the place that men have had for the past 6000 years as violent, unjust, perverted rulers over everything that lives was brought to the debate. Here’s what I thought about it.
I, of course, did not agree with either. In fact, I believe the entire concept of there being such a thing as “anti-men” is wrong.
It is completely irrelevant that some women are, in fact, truly anti-men (and very likely, their belief is justifiable to say the least, as men are responsible of perpetrating the most atrocious crimes and abuses against women, children, other men, animals, and the planet itself and some women may have had more or less direct contact with at least some of those perpetrations) because this system, this Matrix, everything you see, hear, buy, learn, everything feeds on the hatred of women, of being “anti-woman”, anti-life, anti-love. Misogyny is what the entire capitalist, heteronormative Patriarchal system feeds on, from the media, the pornstitution industry, academia, literature, education, healthcare, etc. The system promotes and enacts misogyny.
The few allegedly man-hating women are nothing against the immensity of misogyny under a Patriarchy.
Also, the prefix “anti” means very, VERY different things when it precedes “women” and when it precedes “men”. Anti men (misandry) means saying that after running the world for 6000 men should not be trusted with the major decisions about life and society, that they will need to educate themselves and un-learn a lot of beliefs and behaviours, that most men enjoy a massive amount of privilege and privilege is very hard to give up and not many people embrace the loss of privilege easily. And making facebook memes.
OTOH, antiwomen (misogyny) means you get raped, beaten, abused, censored, sold, hurt and killed.
And finally, misandry is a made up word. Some thing you can’t reverse. Black people cannot be racist against white people. Women cannot oppress men as a class. Misandry is a made up word used to describe the very small number of women who acknowledge the oppressive relationship between men and women, by which men as a class oppress women as a class, and speak out about said oppression naming the agent (men) and the victim (women).
So, nope. No more WATM and “feminism is a guy’s thing too”. We need to start talking about our stuff and stop wasting extremely valuable time and resources on eggshell walking and tiptoeing and saying please and thank you, lest someone thinks we are anti-men. Feminists need to stop talking about men. We only need to mention them when we name them as agents or when we learn of more atrocities from them. If we come across some of the mythical “unicorns”, fine, there’s no need to dwell on that either, no special mention or cookies for those who choose to examine and somewhat refuse their privilege is needed.
We need to talk about the women, we need to discuss and share, and analyse who we are, what happens to us, what we can do, what we are not, how we unlearn most of what we have learned and how we break free. We are capable of so much. I meet an amazing new (to me) radical feminist every day, every day I see women making the most perfect comments, having the greatest ideas, showing the most amazing solidarity. We need to focus on that. On women. We need to talk to women, be nice to women, study women, listen to women, help women. Because we are women. We need to appear, we need to be visible, we need to have space, we need to run things. We need to do that yesterday.